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78 percent of U.S. imports from developing countries are duty-free.

THE NUMBERS: U.S. merchandise imports from developing countries, 2014* – TOTAL $1,130 billion Permanently Duty-Free $550 billion Duty-Free Via FTAs & Preferences $245 billion Tariffed $335 billion * Estimate based on the 11 months of data now available. WHAT THEY MEAN: Anticipating Congressional debate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Sen. Bernie Sanders (an independent Socialist from […]

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Global Economy

U.S. tariffs are 150 times higher on Cambodian goods than on Venezuelan goods.

Clothes and shoes are heavily taxed; accounting for 5 percent of imports, they usually bring in half of all tariff money. Therefore, in the absence of FTAs or developing-country tariff waivers, countries like Cambodia that make lots of them face high rates. High-tech products like phones and medicines, as well as natural resources like the chalk and oil, are rarely taxed at all. So countries that assemble lots of phones, produce lots of medicine, or (like Venezuela) pump lots of oil don’t see many tariffs.

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Global Economy

Congress carried out an unplanned tariff-hike experiment last year by letting GSP expire. China looks like the beneficiary.

The Generalized System of Preferences, known for short as “GSP,” expired on July 30th, 2013. A year of this unplanned experiment suggests results as follows: (a) smaller developing countries’ share of imports has fallen; (b) China’s share has grown, and (c) overall import trends are unchanged.

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